Nonprofit Storytelling: Why Use it for Social Change?

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Many NGOs and nonprofit organisations have started using nonprofit storytelling to tell the world how they are making the world a better place. It helps them connect with the readers on a deeper level. But do you know that you can use nonprofit storytelling to inspire others and bring social change? You may ask why use nonprofit storytelling to bring social change? Let us find out.

Studies Point Out that it Works

Nonprofit storytelling has the power to evoke the emotions of people. There are many examples where organisations that used storytelling saw a positive impact. People connect to such stories as if they were their own stories. It motivates people to join the cause you are lending your support to.

In research by Paul J. Zak, Founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies, he found that people listening to a story having a dramatic arc release oxytocin, a neurochemical associated with empathy. It also motivates cooperation with others by enhancing our ability to experience the emotions of others. It, in turn, prompts people to be more generous, helping organisations working for a social change get more donations.

Help Build Community

In today’s era, where you can get lots of information through just the click of a button, it becomes essential to stay afloat among the sea of irrelevant content. So, the question remains, how to make yourself or your NGOs distinguishable from others. Nonprofit storytelling is a simple answer to this question. If you consistently keep using nonprofit storytelling to bring social change along your way, you will build a strong community of people who believe in what you do. As your community grows, your cause will also gain momentum.

People Connect More with Other’s Stories

Statistics or facts from credible sources play a role in convincing people to take some action, but they are not as powerful as stories that bring out emotions. People respond to stories. Once you find people that share the same vision as you, they will help you make the world a better place. With nonprofit storytelling, you can show people the impact you are making rather than just telling them about it. For example, Women for Women International connects with people because they employ storytelling and share how they have impacted women in real life.

Help Movements Gain Momentum

If a person shared merely facts and statics, it wouldn’t move people to tears, forcing them to think about bringing a change. But if someone narrates personal experience or someone else’s experience and resonates with the masses, the movement may gain momentum. The same thing happened after George Floyd was killed because of police atrocities in the US. What started as a small protest against his killing snowballed into a mass movement for equal rights for African Americans who are targeted way out of proportion to their total numbers in the US population. Though the road to equal rights is a long one, the movement has gained momentum with the recent incident.

Because it Creates a Sense of Urgency

We, humans, tend to leave everything to the last moment. Most of us feel we are productive only when the deadline is near. While it is acceptable to work when you feel the most productive, and under pressure, the same cannot be said when trying to create social impact. You cannot leave anything to the last minute. Storytelling for nonprofits helps you overcome this problem.

It urges the masses to act fast. For example, you can tell through your story that someone needs help and need it soon. If you are talking about a cause you support, mention the countdown to when the campaign for that cause ends. When there is a sense of urgency, people are more likely to act and donate or volunteer for a cause. In addition, you can also mention in the story the consequences if nothing is done. It will be very effective, and you will see an overwhelming response.


Nonprofit storytelling is effective in bringing social change. It also helps build communities, and make people feel connected to the cause the nonprofits endorse. In addition, it creates a sense of urgency and helps social movements gain momentum.

Now that you know why you need to use nonprofit storytelling for social change, start sharing your story. If you haven’t joined a  social purpose platform, join it now to share your story!!

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